Pingali Venkayya

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Pingali Venkayya
Pingali venkayya.jpg
Pingali Venkayya
Born (1876-08-02)2 August 1876
Machilipatnam, Krishna district
Andhra pradesh
Died 4 July 1963(1963-07-04) (aged 86)
Nationality Indian
Occupation Geologist, designer, Freedom Fighter.
Known for Design of Indian National Flag

Pingali Venkayya (2 August 1876 – 4 July 1963) was an Indian freedom fighter and the designer of the flag from which Indian national flag was adopted.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Pingali Venkaiah was born to Hanumantha Raidu and Venkat Ratnamma in Bhatlapenumarru,[2][3] Krishna district, near Machlipatnam in present day Andhra Pradesh. He belonged to a Telugu Brahmin family and he was the eldest of 6 brothers and 2 sisters. After finishing his schooling at Machlipatnam, he went to Colombo for further studies.


Venkayya spent his time experimenting with developing new crop cultivars and becoming an authority on diamond mining, leading to his popular nickname of "Diamond Venkayya". He served in the British Indian army during the Anglo-Boer wars in South Africa. It was there he came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi and was influenced by his ideology.[4] He worked as a railway guard at Bangalore and Madras and subsequently joined the government service as the plague officer at Bellary before moving to Lahore, where he enrolled in the Anglo-Vedic college to study Urdu and Japanese.[5]

During his five years stay in North India, he became active in politics. The 1906 Congress session with Dadabhai Naoroji allowed Pingali to emerge as an activist and from 1906–11, he spent his time in Munagala researching agriculture and crops. For his pioneering study on Cambodian cotton, he came to be called Patti Venkaiyya. He was conferred on honorary membership of the Royal Agricultural Society of Britain.

He later returned to Machlipatnam and focused on developing the National School, where he taught basic military training, history and agriculture.

Designing of flag[edit]

During the National conference of the Indian National Congress at Kakinada, Venkayya suggested a new flag for the Indian National Congress. Gandhi suggested Venkayya to come up with a design. Venkayya proposed a tricolour with a spinning wheel in the middle. The design was the basis for the National Flag of India. The flags antecedents can be traced back to the Vande Mataram movement.[6]

Personal life and death[edit]

He married Rukminamma, daughter of Turlapati Venkatachalam and Mangamma. They have 2 sons and 1 daughter. The eldest son Pingali Parasuramaiah worked for Indian Express as a correspondent. Pingali only daughter Seethamahalakshmi, widow of Ghantasala Vugra Narasimham is the only direct sibling living now. Pingali's other son late Chalapathi Rao worked in the Indian army.

Pingali Venkayya died on 4 July 1963 in Vijayawada.


  1. ^ "History of Indian Tricolor". Government of India. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  2. ^ The Hindu Newspaper Article Dated Feb 04, 2008
  3. ^ The Hindu Newspaper Article Dated Aug 16 ,2011
  4. ^ "Telugu street: Pingali Venkayya". 26 March 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Creators – Pingali Venkayya". Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Mellymaitreyi, M.L (18 November 2012). "State recommends Bharat Ratna for Pingali Venkayya". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 April 2013.